Programme Types
Research Postgraduate

Numerous opportunities for research studies leading to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degrees are available.  Under our outcome-based framework, research students pursue a series of compulsory and elective subjects in-depth, with a view to contributing to the existing body of knowledge, as well as a research project under the supervision of an experienced academic staff member with similar research interests.  You can register for either full-time or part-time study.  Details of the current main research interests at PolyU can be found in the Research Areas section.


PhD and MPhil students must satisfactorily investigate or evaluate a chosen area, demonstrate an understanding of the context and significance of the work, display sustained independent effort and original thought and present a clear, complete thesis of a quality worthy of publication.


PhD students are also expected to produce evidence and argument supporting an original proposition that results in a significant contribution to the knowledge of a subject.


The PhD or MPhil degree is awarded to a student who, upon completing an approved programme of study and research, submits a thesis presenting the results of his/her research and satisfies the examiners in an oral examination (and other examinations if required) in matters relevant to the subject of the thesis.  Students must also complete all of the required coursework before submitting their theses.  The subjects are chosen by the student, with advice from the supervisor, from a wide range on offer.


The coursework credit requirements for different research postgraduate programmes are as follows:


Programme Credit requirements

2-year full-time / 4-year part-time MPhil programme

9 credits

3-year full-time / 6-year part-time PhD programme

15 credits

4-year full-time / 8-year part-time PhD programme

22 credits


In addition to the above credit requirements, students may also be required to take additional credits for English enhancement subjects. Please refer to the English Enhancement Subjects section for details.


Individual programmes may impose higher credit requirements, if deemed necessary. Students should check with their affiliated department for the individual programme requirements.


One credit is approximately equal to 40 hours of study, including classes, private study and an examination. Please click here for information on “Credit Transfer and Subject Exemption”.